Thursday, August 07, 2003

Five Lies

Eric Alterman should be publishing a book called "Four Lies" at some point, based on his Ph.D dissertation IIRC, the title I believe referring to presidential lies which brought us into war. Hopefully he has time to add another chapter before it comes out.

UPDATE: I've been informed that the book will be called "When Presidents Lie: Deception and its Consquences" and should be out Sept. 2004.

Good Golly Miss Molly


Actually, Pryor is under attack because he's a hopeless dipstick. That he also happens to be Catholic and anti-abortion has nothing to do with his unfitness for the federal bench. The only person I know who believes one's closely held religious and moral convictions should make one ineligible for the federal bench is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia argued last year that any judge who is opposed to the death penalty should resign, on account of it is the law.

By that reasoning, any judge who is opposed to abortion out of deep moral conviction should also resign. Even though that would include Scalia's resignation, an eventuation devoutly to be wished in my opinion, I think he's wrong.

What Digby says

Here. (link bloggered. top story)

I spent $1.7 million to attack Democracy...

...and all I got was this stupid T-shirt. You can send one to Darrell Issa. Make him cry again.

Open Thread

Chat Away. Don't feed the trolls.

Book Recommendation of the Day

Michael Frayn's Headlong.

I read this awhile back but I just noticed it sitting there on my bookcase and thought I'd share. Many people have probably seen/read Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen, and anyone who liked it would probably like Headlong as well. It's the story of an art historian who may have discovered a missing part of Bruegel's "Months" painting cycle, and his obsessive quest both to verify this and to understand how the newly discovered piece provides a previously unknown political overtone both to the cycle and Bruegel's life.

Step Away from the Ballot

Issa out.

Riordan "Mugged"

Looks like Ahnuld screwed his pal over.


Victory Act

Oh Jumping Jeebus. I need a drink. I don't even care what's in the bill, the name itself is enough to make me puke.

476,425 Jobs per Month

Dwight Meredith tells us that's what the economy needs to create until the end of the year in order for W. to keep his promise. (link bloggered, scroll 'till you find it)

Dubya Dolly

Why does the Dubya Doll look just like Wesley Clark?


Bustamante for Governor

Okay, all jokes aside, now that Bustamante is running for governor it's time to ignore the rest of the sideshow and line up behind him. Actually, the first thing to do is vote "no" on the recall. The second thing to do is vote for Bustamante to replace him if the need arises.

Shorter Tom Friedman

From Busy^3

Ex Ex Gay

A relapse.
I guess the conversion therapy didn't work so well.

License to Kill

There are days when I wish I were an oil company. If I were, then the government would grant me an unlimited license to do anything I wanted to.

An executive order signed by President Bush more than two months ago is raising concerns that U.S. oil companies may have been handed blanket immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecution in connection with the sale of Iraqi oil.

The Bush administration said Wednesday that the immunity wouldn't be nearly so broad.

But lawyers for various advocacy organizations said the two-page executive order seemed to completely shield oil companies from liability — even if it could be proved that they had committed human rights violations, bribed officials or caused great environmental damage in the course of their Iraqi-related business.

"As written, the executive order appears to cancel the rule of law for the oil industry or anyone else who gets possession or control of Iraqi oil or anything of value related to Iraqi oil," said Tom Devine, legal director for the Washington-based Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that defends whistle-blowers.

Building Height Restrictions

While I'm no fan of rent control, it is quite true that plenty of other regulations which, rightly or wrongly, serve to increase the property values of existing owners at the expense of tenants and new arrivals rarely get nearly as much attention. Whether under the guise of preservation of neighborhood character or just not "blocking my view," city zoning regulations serve to restrict construction of new residential dwellings and have the effect of raising local property prices.

That isn't to say that all zoning regulations are wrong, but the point is they tend not to be a liberal socialist plot. Rather, they tend to enforce the status quo and increase the wealth of existing owners.

Show Me the Money

Okay, I'm getting sick of news stories about people filing the 65 signatures and papers for California governor. I want to hear about people who have actually plunked down the moola.

But, if porn star Mary Carey pays the fee then she can join the numerous other people who have received my endorsement.

BIGGEST BALLOT EVER is what we're going for here.

The Lucrative Joys of Being a "Liberal" Contrarian

Big Media Matt has Michael Totten nicely figured out.

I'd never heard of the guy before his more recent schtick, for what's worth.

Iraq Evolution

The Carnegie Endowment for Peace has the comprehensive documentation of the shifting justifications for this mess.

One of my favorites:

Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz
Vanity Fair
July 2003

"For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.

Thursday is New Jobless Day

Congratulations to the 390,000 new jobless, and to the 5000 missed in the initial reports last week.

Good news is that it's below the magic 400,000, though not by much.

Go Chicks!

Grossed $60m this year! Average show attendance of 15,878. I'll go listen to my 'Home' CD in celebration, which a reader was kind enough to get for me.

Sounds like a Bargain

For only $500 I can go hear Glenn Reynolds tell me how bloggers always correct their mistakes for the millionth time.

I'll pass.

UPDATE: Tom Tomorrow and Jesse have similar thoughts.

I'm anonymous so I don't expect to get real invitations to speak at these things, but the fact that someone like Kos doesn't is silly.

Ahmed Chalabi for Governor!

Hesiod has a great idea. (link bloggered, scroll down) I wonder if it's too late for Chalabi to start the process.


I don't even know what to say:

(CBS) For decades, priests in this country abused children in parish after parish while their superiors covered it all up. Now it turns out the orders for this cover up were written in Rome at the highest levels of the Vatican.

CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales has uncovered a church document kept secret for 40 years.

The confidential Vatican document, obtained by CBS News, lays out a church policy that calls for absolute secrecy when it comes to sexual abuse by priests - anyone who speaks out could be thrown out of the church.

The policy was written in 1962 by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.

The document, once "stored in the secret archives" of the Vatican, focuses on crimes initiated as part of the confessional relationship and what it calls the "worst crime": sexual assault committed by a priest" or "attempted by him with youths of either sex or with brute animals."

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases "in the most secretive way...restrained by a perpetual silence...and everyone {including the alleged victim) to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office...under the penalty of excommunication."

Arnold In

And the farce continues...

Looking forward to all the people who tend to complain about celebrities entering politics to, well, complain.


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Big Book of Tomorrow

Gotten through about half of Tom's new collection and it's quite good. The eerie thing is how much this past year has been a complete replay of the events of 1991. If I were Tom I would have just remained lazy and recycled some of the old comics.

So, go buy it!

Bob Hope on Gay Rights

Didn't know he had it in him.

Christian Coalition Supports Alabama Tax Reform

Shocker, but good for them.

Government Hacks

Reader MP writes in regarding the chart on the front page of the DOE website. It appears to neither be corrected for inflation nor population growth.

We Have Ways to Make You Talk

Josh Marshall has an exclusive about the current predicament of one of the Iraqi scientists.

Calpundit provides shorter Josh Marshall.

Bullet Dodged

Rick Berke NOT new NYT Washington Bureau chief.

Give Give Give

Once you're done buying Jesse a birthday present*... or, hell, buying me a present on Jesse's birthday, please give a few nickels to the DNC. They ain't perfect, but they're all we've got, and they need money. 2004 isn't just about the democratic primaries, or the presidential election, it's also about mounting a successful national campaign to hopefully improve our lot in the other elected branch of government. It isn't enough to give to individual candidates, though I highly recommend doing that too (and, here at Eschaton I hope to adopt a pet congressional candidate at some point... ). There has to be a coordinated national campaign as well.

*Jesse's been providing free ice cream without ever asking for donations for quite some time. So, we owe him something I think.

Six Degrees of Penetration

Agenda Bender has some fun with the right wing homophobes, including deviant minority John Derbyshire, henceforth known by his Drag name Dee Viant, who is losing what little grip on reality he had left.

Gary Coleman for Governor!

Yet another candidate I can support.
Damn, with so many great candidates on the ballot how WILL one make a choice...

Anyone, whatever the outcome, unless the winner (if Davis goes down) resigns and lets the lieutenant governor take over, as the writer of Bat Boy -- The Musical promises to do [can't Bat Boy run? -ed. Good idea!], I will firmly throw the weight of my Mighty Blog behind any movement to file another recall petition.

End Welfare Now

Those right wing goofballs over at the Tax Foundation have kindly released their new report on federal/state tax revenue/expenditures. You can see the full report here (in pdf). But, needless to say hard working blue states like California and New York continue to have their wealth appropriated by the self-reliant heartland states. California gets back only $.76 for every dollar it sends to the Feds, for New York it's $.85. For California, it's particularly shocking given the extent of agriculture, national parks, military bases, and aerospace/defense industries. New Jersey and Connecticut get screwed even more. The big welfare states? Virginia, the Dakotas, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, New Mexico, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, ... Not all "red," but the vast majority of states who are net beneficiaries of the federal redistributino of income are those damn Republican states...

Nathan Newman has some comments.

Buy This Man a Drink

Happy 21st to Jesse.

Well, you could go buy him a present from his wish list.

Lightest Sentence Ever

That jerk Jack Cafferty got off really easy on this hit and run.

Who Would Jesus Smear?

Pharisee Phred Barnes on the Factor:

FRED BARNES, "BELTWAY BOYS" CO-HOST: Well, you know, he's already been elected in New Hampshire. And he was approved by one body in the Episcopal church that's in this convention right now in Minneapolis. That was the priest and the laity, but the bishops still have to do it.

And it looked like it was a slam-dunk until first this charge came along. You know, he's the founder of a group called Outright. It's a group that is to support gay and lesbians under 22 years of age or 22 and under and introduce them to gay and lesbian role models and so on.

Well, if you go to their Web site or if you went to their Web site last night, you could click to a pornographic site. I know. I did it myself.

O'REILLY: Well, let me stop you. If you go to this Web site that he founded...


O'REILLY: say you can click to a pornographic site.

BARNES: Right.

O'REILLY: It means they have an icon? What does it say, dirty pictures here?

BARNES: No, I forget what it says. But you click to a site. And then -- and perhaps click a second time and you go to something called three pillows, which is a site I'd never heard of, but believe me it's pornographic.

The McCarthyite Right

The objectively pro-dead American soldier, soft on the fight against actual terrorism, James Taranto has this to say:

Al Gore, seems to have gone off the rails. The New York Post reports Gore will be speaking to a gathering of far-left, pro-Saddam group whose online"primary" gave Howard Dean a victory over second-place Dennis Kucinich." (Bold type mine.)

294 coalition deaths and counting, Mr. Taranto, all because of lies you helped distribute and propaganda you continue to spew. I do wonder how you sleep at night.

That's not to mention all the permanently maimed and disabled soldiers. On your conscience you prick.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I've Found the Liberal Media

Over at DC Comics:

President Luthor has Qurac on his hit list, and heaven help any hero who stands in the way! Now Superman finds himself in a living nightmare as his fellow Leaguers fall one by one to Lex's executive order: support the war or be "neutralized!"

(thanks to reader jb)

Red vs. Blue

Them home prices sure are booming in those decadent liberal socialist enclaves.

Fine Merchandise

Dave has some great T-Shirts and Bumper Stickers.

Uberfemme has some great plus-sized gothic clothing.

Joyce has some fun t-shirts.

And, Mrs. Monsky has everything for the Angry Dem.

Carter to be Tried for Peace Crimes


Carter is one of the worst enemies the forces of destruction have known since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his non-violent rampages of the '50s and '60s," Simmons said. "Even today, in his capacity as an ex-president, [Carter] continues his pursuit of non-aggression. He must be stopped now, before another terrible war is avoided and more lives are saved."


On behalf of the Bush administration, Vice-President Dick Cheney expressed regret over Carter's alleged crimes.

"We are all aware of the missteps that occurred during the placid days of the Carter administration," Cheney said. "It was simply a matter of bringing the justice to light. Thankfully, the process has begun, and this chapter in our nation's history is finally being brought to a close."

Robinson Ambush

In the Star Tribune:

That was before Robinson was ambushed, hours before the House of Bishops was to take the final vote on his nomination, by the most scurrilous smear: He was accused of linkage to a porn Web site and of inappropriately touching another man. The church investigated both charges and cleared Robinson. The House of Bishops then voted to accept his elevation to Bishop of New Hampshire. End of story? Not quite.

The Every Voice Network Web site, a liberal Anglican site, reported Tuesday that the alleged inappropriate behavior "occurred when Robinson touched a married man in his 40s on his bicep, shoulder and upper back in the process of a public conversation at a province meeting around two years ago." Oh, please.

The phony accusation that Robinson was linked somehow to porn on the Web was easy to track down. It was a deliberate, calculated lie, apparently held in reserve until the last minute in case the first vote, in the House of Deputies, went against those opposed to Robinson's elevation to bishop -- which it did on Sunday.


The Weekly Standard is important in this. Executive Editor Fred Barnes gave the Robinson story a major boost -- after it was shopped to other news outlets that refused to bite -- when he posted information about the controversy on the magazine's Web site Monday. Barnes asserted that, "Episcopalian bishop-elect Gene Robinson has some curious affiliations," meaning the porn Web site.

No he doesn't, but Barnes does. He's not simply a journalist in this; he's a conservative Episcopalian of outspoken views who sits on the board of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. It's a conservative group which believes that mainline Protestant churches "have thrown themselves into multiple, often leftist crusades -- radical forms of feminism, environmentalism, pacifism, multi-culturalism, revolutionary socialism, sexual liberation and so forth." The group vigorously opposes gay rights within the church.

Also fascinating is who funds the institute. The most prominent names on the list of contributors are Olin, Scaife and Bradley, the same folks who bankrolled the Clinton wars.

Robinson Confirmed

For the most part, I have no more input on this issue than do the numerous Baptists and Catholics the media keeps trotting out to discuss this issue (Can't they find any Episcopalians?), but given that his confirmation was on track to happen I'm glad it wasn't derailed by a last minute smear job by the usual suspects.



March to War

I'm not one who harps on Bush's lack of intelligence much, but this one is just too damn stupid for words:

GWB: Yes. No, to answer the last part of your question. First of all, let me -- just a quick history, recent history. The stock market started to decline in March of 2000. Then the first quarter of 2001 was a recession. And then we got attacked in 9/11. And then corporate scandals started to bubble up to the surface, which created a -- a lack of confidence in the system. And then we had the drumbeat to war. Remember on our TV screens -- I'm not suggesting which network did this -- but it said, "March to War," every day from last summer until the spring -- "March to War, March to War." That's not a very conducive environment for people to take risk, when they hear, "March to War" all the time.

Georgy Needs $747

Go help put her on the California ballot.

On the other hand, I do like this guy's entire platform.

A Poisonous Hypocrisy Flashback

This isn't directly related to the gay Bishop issue but it did bring it to mind. On (former) Cardinal Spellman of New York:

The archconservative Spellman was the epitome of the self-loathing, closeted, evil queen, working with his good friend, the closeted gay McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn, to undermine liberalism in America during the 1950s’ communist and homosexual witch hunts. The church has squelched Spellman’s gay life quite successfully, most notably by pressuring The New York Times to don the drag of the censor back in the 1980s. The Times today may be out front exposing every little nasty detail in the Catholic Church’s abuse scandal-a testament to both the more open discussion of such issues today and the church’s waning power in New York-but not even 20 years ago the Times was covering up Spellman’s sexual secrets many years after his death, clearly fearful of the church’s revenge if the paper didn’t fall in line. (During Spellman’s reign and long afterward, all of New York’s newspapers in fact cowered before the Catholic Church. On Spellman’s orders New York’s department stores-owned largely by Catholics-pulled ads from the then-liberal New York Post in the 1950s after publisher Dorothy Schiff wrote commentary critical of his right-wing positions; Schiff was forced to back down on her positions.)


...While Spellman has been long dead, his legacy of hypocrisy lives on: there are closeted homosexuals-often condemning "sexual immorality" publicly while having gay sex privately-throughout the uppermost echelons of the church today. The gay movement in the past 15 years has taken on the Hollywood closet and the Washington political closet, both with dramatic success-and both those institutions have p.r. operations far more sophisticated than the Vatican’s antiquated machine, which can’t even seem to get the aging cardinals to attend a press conference. The media these days also has a much greater appetite for exposing sexual hypocrisy, and is no longer cowed by the Catholic Church. Going down this treacherous road of increased gay-bashing and scapegoating, the Vatican perhaps doesn’t realize what it may be unleashing upon itself. If I were a closeted bishop or cardinal in America, I would be very afraid.

You Too Can Run For Governor

I think all of my California readers should put themselves on the ballot. This site tells you how.

Private Government

You should also read Charles's post about Homeowner's Associations. One of my pet peeves is the fact that these organizations literally have all of the powers the local governments have, but by simply not calling themselves public entities, they can avoid having to deal with pesky constitutional limits on their powers. If it walks like a duck...

Anyway, this isn't a bad book on the subject.

Tapped on Barnes

Tapped has a few pointed words for Fred Barnes.

The Dumbshit Theory

Charles Dodgson dissects one of the odder theories about Saddam and WMD.

Probe Over

That was quick. Vote in about 90 minutes.

...MSNBC reporting cleared of charges. As Mike Signorile is discussing right now, if they fail to confirm him now they will have let themselves be run by an anonymous smear campaign.

Look, as I've said once or twice I'm not Episcopalian so most of this is none of my business. They can confirm who they want as Bishops. I generally am happy when large institutions in this country evolve in ways which I approve of, but I can't really tell them what they should or shouldn't do. But, once this became a media issue, complete with bogus smears from the usual right wing character assassins, it became more relevant to me.

Pop Quiz

Who was president when the "biggest tax increase in history" was enacted?

The answer to this, and many more exciting questions, can be found in this summer's favorite bit of beach reading, Big Lies!

Pierce on Barnes

Charles Pierce adds his two cents over at Altercation:

Charles Pierce
Hometown: Newton, MA
Eric —
After a pretty bad couple of years for we Papists, it’s nice to see some chaos elsewhere among the various domestic monotheistic popstands. First, it’s pretty clear that the Episcopalians — or, as the great Dan Jenkins once referred to them, “Catholics without calisthenics” — have pretty clearly been thrown into a tizzy by a last-minute smear job at least partly abetted by elements of Mr. Murdoch’s remarkably advertising-free little magazines. Note to Freddy The Beatle Barnes: John McLaughlin was defrocked. You were never frocked at all. God really wants you to stay out of this and resume pruning the bushes in the Rose Garden.
And you, boychick, have your own problems. On yesterday’s installment of Buchanan and Press, some Newsmax changeling defended Mel Gibson’s Jesus movie against charges of anti-semitism by citing “prominent Jewish leaders” who had seen the film and approved. These PJL’s were, he said, were: David Horowitz, Michael Medved, and Dennis Prager.
Horowitz. Medved. Prager.
The American Sanhedrin.
Good luck with that. Or, as we’re often saying around the Holy Office in Rome these days: Oy!
See you Friday.

White House Owes Blix an Apology

As he does the families of every dead soldier.

UN weapons inspectors were in Iraq for 111 days, ending March 18, 2003 when the Bush Administration said, "They've had enough time."

Unless we're going to accept that an Iraqi scientist, who on his own, decided to bury some pieces of a uranium-extracting centrifuge in his backyard TWELVE YEARS AGO as evidence of Saddam Hussein's having WMD at the ready, we have officially now spent more time not finding WMD in Iraq than the UN inspectors did.

So, any time soon will we be hearing the following from the White House?

"We've had more than enough time," declares President Bush. "I'm giving us 48 hours to get out of Iraq there or we're going in."

I'm not holding my breath.

If I remember it right, Hans Blix and approximate 250 inspectors were deemed by many as inept. The number of "coalition" forces now in Iraq numbers around 150,000.

If I remember it right, AM radio added "incompetent", "bungling", "sloppy" and in some cases "in bed with Saddam" to the damning list.


These theocrats are making me crazy today:

BURIED DEEP IN the appropriations legislation the House passed for the departments of Commerce, Justice and State is a little-noticed pair of amendments that attack the independence of federal judges. The amendments, offered on the House floor by Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.), are designed, as Mr. Hostettler put it, to "block federal funds from being used to enforce court decisions that found the use of 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional and ordered the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse.

At one point Mr. Hostettler said this:

"I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

UPDATE: Calpundit remembers one of Andrew Jacksons's not so fine moments.

Watch What You Link To

Jeebus... I don't even understand how this is a crime.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson sentenced Sherman Austin to more than the prosecutor had recommended under a plea bargain.

Austin, 20, pleaded guilty in February to distributing information related to explosives.


Austin said he took a plea bargain because he feared his case was eligible for a terrorism enhancement, which could have added 20 years to his sentence. The plea deal had called for him to serve four months.

Good News On the Voting Front

Michigan has some sense:

Michigan will begin doing away with punch card voting, lever-operated machines and manually counted paper ballots next year and finish the job in 2006.

In the wake of the fiasco that held up the outcome of the 2000 presidential election for 36 days, Michigan and other states are moving to uniform systems.

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said Monday that Michigan's system of choice will be optical scanners, the method already used by two-thirds of the state's 6.8 million voters.


Warren City Clerk Richard Sulaka said he's disappointed that the state didn't choose the more advanced touch screen voting system.

But he added, "We need to change and I'll work with what they want."

The city's 325 lever machines are at least 40 years old.

Touch screens didn't make sense, said Land, because the technology creates no paper trail.


Inappropriate Touching

So, over at the Corner they've already convicted Reverend Robinson of rape, while all he's been accused of is inappropriate touching of a " bicep, shoulder and upper back in the process of a public conversation."

Oh, and don't forget being involved with an organization that has a website which had a link to a site which had a link to a site which presented you with a massive age warning page before offering you the ability to download pr0n for money.

This is pathetic and everyone involved with making these charges should be ashamed of themselves, as should our media for hyping these accusations which are ridiculous on their face.

Today in Iraq

yankee doodle provides your daily rundown of the news.

One Link, Two Links, Child Pron, Four

The media is spinning out of control on this Bishop story. Now he's linking to child pron.

On NPR this morning the reporter claimed he was involved with a website which linked to pron, which is about as true as claiming Fred Barnes links to pron, or that anyone with a website links to pron. The reporter also claimed the allegations were brought to her on Sunday, but that she didn't have enough time to verify them. Lord help these people.

Supposedly, the offensive site, linked to from the site, was I'm off to find the pron.

These people need to go and read Tim LaHaye's old sex manual.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Straw Men

Kristof over at the NYT pretends that that there's this huge contigent which objects to the US bombing of Hiroshima. As always, there are of course such people but I really have never been aware that a consensus had formed that it was an unforgivable act.

Nagasaki is more debatable... I'm actually of the opinion that it was probably perfectly justifiable given what they knew at the time (how damaging nukes were, the likelihood of surrrender by the emperor without it, etc... ) , and even quite likely justifiable even with hindsight, but I recognize there is legitimate debate on this topic.

The weird thing is that I mostly agree with Kristof's ultimate point, I just don't understand why he needs to construct a largely mythical antagonist in order to make it.

More on Robinson

August J. Pollak says some more on the Robinson smear.

More on Lynching

Paul Musgrave has a response to the earlier sillyness over at the Corner, and points us to Robert George's too gentle spanking of his partner in crime over at the Corner.

But, I point out again... how can any publication claim any kind of legitimacy when they continue to publish Charles Murrary?


...but, jeez, brain hurting. On what bizarro earth did Bush receive a media pummeling over his cocaine usage?

Friends don't let friends read the Corner. And, friends shouldn't let Robert George write for it.

Shorter Andrew Sullivan

I don't like Queer as Folk or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy because neither show features enough chubby hairy men for my taste.

Actually, here's the article Sullivan would have written if he could ever get past his narcissism .

As always, check out BusyBusyBusy for much Shorter Goodness.

Was I the Last to Know?

Hey, congratulations to American Stranger of Blah3 and Take Back the Media on his engagement to the truly lovely K.

They Just Keep Peddling Bull

"We know he has chemical weapons because we know he used them on his own people."
-Kay Bailey Hutchinson

Do these people understand the difference between past and present tenses?

I Cannot Endorse This

But, FYI.

(thanks to stranger)

Fred Barnes Is a Porn Pusher

Fred Barnes writes for the Weekly Standard magazine. One can go from the Weekly Standard Links Page, to Salon, to Porn, in 3 easy clicks!

(thanks to reader Daveinseattle)

From Seacoast Outright


Fomal Statement from the Director of Seacoast Outright, NH.:
Several gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth serving agencies all use the name “Outright.” We are all independently run. To our knowledge,each has its own 501(c)(3) incorporation. While the organizations seek to achieve the same goal of creating a supportive environment for glbtq youth, we are separate organizations. Each Outright organization provides links to other websites to give youth access to resources, but we cannot control what’s on those websites. After we learned about a link on Concord Outright's website that links to an adult-oriented website, the link was taken down from Concord Outright's website. The adult site is not something that we consider appropriate for any youth.

Emphasis mine.

Later Transcript

From Candiotti:

First, let's show you a bit of the Web site. We will not show you all of its entirety but if you go to it and make a few clicks and then leave the Web site using various links and make a few more clicks you discover an erotica, what is described as an erotica site where you can download or view rather some photographs. Of course you have to pay to see additional photographs.

This is a rather bizarre orchestrated smear job pushed by an interested party, Fred Barnes, pretending it's simply journalism.

Conflict of Interest

Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, who appears to have "broken" the "accusations" against Reverend Robinson, is a board member of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a very conservative organization of Episcopalians.

(as reported on the Michelangelo Signorile show.)

.... Unsurprisingly, the IRD has received a few million from Scaife, Bradley, Olin, ...

Armstrong Loses His Mind

Here he is:

WILLIAMS: Well, listen. I think Mr. Robinson is being very selfish. Obviously, he has a right to choose whomever he wants to. But to bring this in the church, to cause this chasm in the church and this kind of division, I think he should rethink this. I think this e-mail is exactly right, whether it's Judaism, whether it's Islam, whether it's Christianity. None of our faiths support this kind of action.

BLITZER: But it looks like he's got the support of the majority of the bishops and the members.

WILLIAMS: It's not enough though. But (UNINTELLIGIBLE) majority. The majority of the people do not want this and they should respect the majority. It will divide and destroy the church and I don't think we need that.

The rest is even funnier.

Here's a blast from Armstrong's past...

Actual Transcript

I swear she said something about having to pay (I saw it a bit later, so it may have been different), but here it is:

Also, the vote is being postponed, we have learned from church officials, is because another group who initially came to CNN revealed that they suspect that a Web site called, an organization that counsels gay and lesbian youth under the age of 21, that if you go on to their Web site, there are a few clicks away and leaving their Web site can eventually get you, they say, to a pornographic site. CNN has been looking into this allegation for the past couple of days, and determined that Reverend Robinson claims and the Web site claims that it's nothing to do with Reverend Robinson, he had nothing to do with the Web site, and furthermore, they were not aware of any connection between this link on the Web site that shows photographs, erotic photographs that could be described and Reverend Robinson. They claim there is absolutely no connection, and he denies it as well. He says he hasn't had any connection to the group for the last couple ever years, though he did found it a few years ago. This is on his resume.

Decipher that.

Find the Porn

"If you go to a website, and then make a few more clicks, and then leave the web site, and then make a few more clicks, you can access some erotica if you pay for it."

An almost accurate quote of what the CNN newscaster said regarding the sudden "new controversy" about the nominated Episcopalian Bishop. I didn't exaggerate at all.

Here's the website. Let's see how long it takes to find the porn. According to the Weekly Standard, which seems to have had this story before anyone else, the links have been removed...

Well, I'll have to go pay a visit to the way back machine.

UPDATE: Jesse finds porn in 10 links. can anyone beat it?


The editor of Newsweek actually said this:

Mark Whitaker, editor, Newsweek: We knew a lot of intelligence was flimsy before the war. I think most people understood that the reason we were going to war was because the Bush administration was determined to go to war on this timetable. And I’m not sure it was the intelligence which convinced anyone.

Hating Clinton and Hating Bush

I find the comparisons between "Clinton hating," which started before the guy even took office and was associated with numerous bullshit conspiracy theories and fake scandals pushed by congressional committees and mainstream journalists/opinion writers and "Bush Hating," which have everything to do with his actual policies, rather silly.

Ask a wingnut why they don't like Clinton and they'll claim he's a rapist, a drug runner, a communist spy, etc... etc... It rarely has much to do with any consistent or sensible evaluation of his policies. And, to the extent that they ever did they've been rendered moot by their unwavering support for Dear Leader's embrace of many of the things they claimed to hate Clinton for.

But, anyway, Josh Marshall has a few words on this.

Keeping Things in Perspective

Courtesy of those enlightened folks at the Corner:

An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week notes, “On average, 100 African-Americans a year were lynched in the 1890s.” That figure is accurate (it may actually be a little low), and it’s horrifying, but let me add two other facts. First, during this time period, the number of European-Americans lynched was about 40 per year. Second, at this rate, it would have taken 60,000 years to get to the 6 million figure that European Jewry suffered during the Third Reich. Something to keep in mind the next time you hear the American South compared to Nazi Germany.

There you have it - the new Holocaust Standard! If 6 million people aren't slaughtered, it isn't really important!

Something to keep in mind next time you hear Hussein's Iraq compared to Nazi Germany.*

*obligatory disclaimer, Saddam bad blah blah blah.

(How often do people compare the American South to Nazi Germany, anyway? I mean, I'm sure someone has done it, but I hadn't realized this was a standard talking point...)

And, while I'm getting dirty over in the Corner how can I not be utterly repulsed by any organization that has CHARLES FUCKING MURRAY as a contributor?

Dean on Larry King

Howard Dean will be on LK Live tonight, as well as having a couple of other media apperances in the next 2 days. I think this is probably quite an important appearance for him, as I would imagine LKL's audience consists of people who sort of follow the news but aren't all that tuned in to things. Sure, his ratings are far lower than GE Timmy's, but still.

In any case, my only real critique of Dean' style has been the way he comes across when he does the in-studio media appearances. In front of a crowd, either on TV or in person, he seems to have good confidence and presence, but he so far hasn't looked so good for this type of appearance. I don't think it's anything insurmountable -- I'd just suggest hiring a media coach to teach him how to do it.

NRO Needs New Economists

Brad DeLong regularly points out how stupid they are. Their latest eruption is profoundly dumb, even by their usually low standards.

(Note to Brad -- It's Stephen, not Michael, Moore)

When Wingnuts Lie

So, I'm sitting here listening to an Episcopalian wingnut who is against the appointment of a gay bishop. I'm 99% sure just heard her say that the Archbishop of Canterbury had written to them begging them not to confirm an openly gay bishop. Knowing that the current Archbishop isn't exactly known for being a conservative, this didn't sound too right to me. So, I tracked this down:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said he raised no objection to the appointment of a gay priest as the new Bishop of Reading.
In a letter being sent to all diocesan and suffragan bishops in England, Dr Williams said: "It is an appointment I have sought neither to promote nor to obstruct."

Not being Anglican or Episcopalian, to some extent I don't think this is any of my business - at least as long as it doesn't spill over into politics generally - but I do wonder why these people have such problems with the truth.

As I said, I'm 99% sure that's what I heard... If not, I apologize.

Hundreds of Gays Appointed to Bush Administration

According to Mike Mead of the Log Cabin Republicans, stated just now on the Michelangelo Signorile show.

Someone tell the Freepers.

He also just said he's curious to find out what Bush thinks about Civil Unions.

Key Words

How "Clintonian:"

Powell, both publicly and privately, has said he has no regrets about his comments to the Security Council, arguing that they hold up well if read carefully...

my emphasis.



Every now and then one is given a bit of a glimpse into just how clueless the guardians of our national discourse really are. Check out these comments by Time magazine editor-at-large Mike Elliot:

Elliott: Most of America has forgotten about 9/11. I don’t think it has changed the United States in the way that people say that it has. If it had done so, in the year afterward you would’ve seen an upsurge in recruitment to the armed forces. It didn’t happen. You would’ve seen an upsurge in religious observance or devotion. It absolutely didn’t happen. Every bit of reporting I’ve done has convinced me that outside of this little hothouse that we live in in New York and Washington, people have left this behind. I don’t think our readers come to this story with some incubus of 9/11.

You see, post 9-11 this was the script we were all supposed to follow. We are all supposed to "get serious," go to church, and join the military. That's what Time magazine told us, anyway. What really happened is we started drinking more. People like Mike Elliot thought it would be patriotic to not bother questioning the events leading up to 9/11, or the administration's handling thereafter. Right now we're eroding civil liberties, deporting thousands of long time Muslim residents over technical vioaltions, shredding our system and notions of justice, and cheering on the slaughter of thousands of innocents in Iraq, ALL BECAUSE OF 9/11.

And Mike Elliot thinks nothing has changed.

Things have changed a lot, just not in the way Andrew Sullivan, Jonah Goldberg, MK Ultrahack, and Mike Elliot told us they would.

Some more comments:

John Donvan, correspondent, ABC News’ Nightline: Our car was literally looted in Safran the first day. The very first day, I reported that it was unstable in the place where just yesterday people were cheering. And our editors in New York were saying, “Well, John, could you get us some of those pictures of people cheering?”


MacArthur: When I see Walt Rogers on CNN announcing while they’re speeding toward Baghdad, “This is fun!,” I think, This is a joke, this is a circus performance, not journalism in a traditional sense that I grew up with. It hearkened back to 1880s and 1890s journalism that Pulitzer and Hearst were so good at. It was a show—until it got ugly and then it wasn’t so much fun anymore.

Hemmer: I listened to Rogers virtually every time he was on the air and I never remember the word fun coming out of his mouth.


Mark Whitaker, editor, Newsweek: We knew a lot of intelligence was flimsy before the war. I think most people understood that the reason we were going to war was because the Bush administration was determined to go to war on this timetable. And I’m not sure it was the intelligence which convinced anyone.

(gee, thanks for telling us)

A Good Old Fashioned Bible Burning

Nope, not from those militant atheist types, but from some fine Christian folk.

Big Lies Arrives

So, my copy of Joe Conason's new book just arrived. I haven't yet read the first page but I can already declare that it is the Best Nonfiction Book Ever. The best work of fiction, of course, coming from the pen of scholar, poet, and teabagging afficianado Neal Pollack. Not that I've read that one yet, either, but sometimes you can just know these things.

Anyway, I'm sitting here in a nice little coffee shop not too far from Chez Atrios. I've had wireless for quite sometime, which I highly recommend for anyone with broadband, multiple computers, and a family member who tends to hog the internet service. I haven't spent too much time going Really Mobile, as I've been too lazy to try and hunt down convenient hotspots. But, the whole wireless thing is pretty cool. Oh, and I can listen to Mike Singorile's show, too. Totally cool.

Oh, and Joe was kind enough to thank quite a few bloggers in the acknowledgements. I'm sure the fact that I was thanked first had nothing to do with the apparent alphabetical ordering of the names...

Marriage Not to Affirm Love Between People

According to Man on Dog himself.

It's all about the children, you see. I'm sure Pat Buchanan is rushing out to get his childless marriage annulled.
I have to admit, I don't quite remember everything I said during that whole vow part of my wedding ceremony, but I don't remember the kiddies coming into it at all.

UPDATE: Jesse adds:

Does anyone against gay marriage have a single coherent thought ping-ponging around their little empty heads?

All signs point to no.

Tour Dates Announced!

In support of the release of the greatest novel ever written, The Neal Pollack Invasion is going out on tour!

More info here!

Bush Gets Physical, Visits Wounded While at Bethesda

Headline you didn't see.

(location fixed)

Wounded Soldiers in Hotels

First some perspective:

US military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media.

Since May 1, when President George Bush declared the end of major combat operations, 52 American soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, according to Pentagon figures quoted in almost all the war coverage. But the total number of US deaths from all causes is much higher: 112.

The other unreported cost of the war for the US is the number of American wounded, 827 since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

And, the story:

Officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are referring some outpatients to nearby hotels because casualties from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have overloaded the hospital's convalescence facility.

"We have an informal agreement with any number of hotels in the area. If we come to this point, they will take for us," said Walter Reed spokesman Jim Stueve. "They're very supportive and cooperative when we need that assistance."

Mr. Stueve could not specify how many soldiers are in hotels, but said Walter Reed is referring about 20 patients or their relatives to hotels each day. Hotels in Silver Spring, just across the D.C. line, offer discounted rates for outpatients and their families, and the military pays the bill.

However, the hotel arrangement has not compromised the quality of care for incoming wounded, Mr. Stueve said.

Powell to Leave if Bush Re-Elected


Rice and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz are the leading candidates to replace Powell, according to sources inside and outside the administration. Rice appears to have an edge because of her closeness to the president, though it is unclear whether she would be interested in running the State Department's vast bureaucracy.

Oh Jeebus.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Only 21% of Hispanics Intend to Vote for Bush

That's what should have been the headline of this New York Times story. I had meant to do a deeper analysis of the most ridiculously spun article I've seen in at least 24 hours. The poll results are basically completely 180 degrees from the slant of the story.

But, Billmon over at the Whiskey Bar took care of it for me.

That darn evil liberal New York Times...

Military Purge

This is creepy.

In a move widely seen within the Pentagon as a purge, a dozen or more Army generals are being ushered into retirement as the Army’s new chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, takes over. In advance of Schoomaker’s swearing-in last Friday, the Army’s acting chief, Gen. John Keane—who is himself retiring—spoke with a list of three- and four-star generals, thanked them for their services and told them it was time to go. Sources say Keane first contacted half a dozen names, but by the end of the week the list had reportedly grown to 11—”with more to come within 30 days,” according to one Army source. The Army has a total of 50 three- and four-star generals. A senior Pentagon civilian called the move “housecleaning.”

No Means No

I really don't understand what the hell is going on in the minds of people who object to the Illinois rape law which states simply that consent can be withdrawn after it has been given. Do they really think once penetration has been consented to a man or woman has a right to continue with the act as long as he/she wishes? What kind of weird logic is that?

Now, as Jeralyn from Talk Left points out, prosecuting these cases is admittedly extraordinarily problematic, as most rape cases are, but the general principle seems rather obvious.

One can take sides on the facts of any particular case, but I mean, jeez, what are people thinking here? Sex can become uncomfortable, unpleasant, undesired, and even quite painful (I assume even when it involves someone other than me). To argue that once penetration takes place someone has been granted the right to continue forever is truly bizarre.

Buy More Ads!

I don't know too much about internet ad prices, but a back of the envelope calculation tells me that advertisers are paying about a two cents or so per 100 page views. That has to be fairly cheap for what I assume is a relatively desirable demographic.

The Blogads people have set up a nice system. Go use it!

A True Patriot


Reviewing the Newsroom

Well, well, well, in order to look into newsroom conduct in the aftermath of the egregious acts committed by Jayson Blair, the New York Times used none other than...

Oh, you know who...

I don't even have to tell you.

Yep, Jeff Gerth.

Saturday, August 02, 2003


Down, down, down...

Shorter Tom Friedman

The British public wouldn't support a war to save the Iraqi people from Saddam's tyranny because they have never experienced terrorism.



Appears that this lovely little substance might be repsonsible for Gulf War I Syndrome.

Squalene is classed as an ad juvant - a chemical which is added to a vaccine to make it more combative. It is a naturally occurring substance in the human body but injecting it is illegal, and past scientific research in rats and mice has found that it causes auto-immune disease. Consequently, squalene in the form of a vaccine is unlicensed for human or veterinary use.

Oops, article way old. I hate when I get stuff and I don't notice the old dates on the articles...

Something to Remember

As of this time in the summer of 1991, only Paul Tsongas had made it clear he was running for the nomination.

Prompting sentences like this, from the August 8, 1991 Financial Times:

The shortage of declared Democratic candidates is in marked contrast to the same stage four years ago when half a dozen Democrats were formally in the race. The difference is largely explained by President George Bush's continuing high approval ratings in the polls and the widespread assumption that he will be nearly impossible to beat next year.

(oops, date fixed)

David Kay

It appears that David Kay, who keeps promising us "surprises" on the WMD front, which of course is one of those "tells" - I didn't realize that the discovery of WMD in Iraq, which WERE THE CAUSE OF THIS RIDICULOUS WAR was supposed to be a surprise - is the source of the fraudulent claim about the IAEA.

Former United Nations weapons inspector David Kay's appointment a few weeks ago as an adviser for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet on WMD issues is a shining example of how the game is being played. Kay is now benefiting from his successful efforts to help the Bush administration justify the Iraq war. He was the one who told the government that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna produced a report in 1991 that indicated that Iraq was at the time just six months away from having a bomb. Bush and Blair held a news conference in Crawford, Texas, last September touting Kay's claim, and the US media published it prominently. The media did not verify the allegation by talking to representatives of the IAEA, which would have been worth the investment of a few minutes' time, since such a report by the IAEA simply doesn't exist.


Demagogue links to this shockingly reasonable article by Rich Lowry about the mentally ill.

Demagogue's a bit hard on liberals being at fault here, I think. It is true that the deinstitutionalization movement was a liberal movement, but it wasn't supposed to stop there. The idea was that many mentally ill patients had been locked up and abandoned in horrific and, yes, expensive institutions instead of receiving any kind of proper treatment and without any attempt to provide them with anything resembling a "normal life." Deinstitutionalization was supposed to be accompanied by group homes, etc... with the patients still having very monitored existences, though with at least one foot in the "real world."

Of course, Republicans (cough Reagan cough) seized on this as a cost-saving measure, closed the public institutions, and the money for other types of care never materialized.

While misguided liberal notions are presumably behind the difficiulties people face in obtaining such things as involuntary commitment papers, as with many things that's only part of the story. From what I've seen, the core reason is often simply a lack of money, with other things being simply excuses.

Happy Anniversary to the Hamster

Well, I'm a day late, but anyway. Eric was running one of the best sites out there when he was still in high school, though none of us new he was such a youngster at the time. Go pay him a visit and while you're there make a donation.

For a Hamster flashback, check out his exchange with Meek and Mild Colmes.


Dave Eggers writes an Op-Ed in defense of Americorps, another program Bush promised to maintain and extend but which has instead been slashed.

AmeriCorps needs an emergency infusion of $100 million just to maintain its current operations. While the Senate voted to appropriate the money, the House of Representatives refused to approve the emergency funds — and then adjourned for the summer. Meanwhile, the administration has been largely silent — and it remains unclear whether it will press Congress to provide the funds in September.

Which is confusing, considering how vocal President Bush has been about the need to maintain and even expand our national service programs. At one time, in fact, the president proposed expanding AmeriCorps to 75,000 members. "We need more talented teachers in troubled schools," the president said in his 2002 State of the Union address, the first after 9/11. "U.S.A. Freedom Corps will expand and improve the good efforts of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps to recruit more than 200,000 new volunteers."

It was the president's words that encouraged young people to send in AmeriCorps applications. Thousands of outrageously qualified applicants were prepared to quit high-paying jobs, to put off graduate school, to move to, say, rural Louisiana — all in the name of national service, in the name of doing something selfless for a country that needed healing. AmeriCorps approved new volunteer slots and assumed it had the support of Congress and the president. Now, on the eve of a new school year, Congress and the White House have turned their backs on these volunteers.

Must we note that the $100 million that could save AmeriCorps is less than one-tenth of what we spend in Iraq every week? Is it too obvious to mention that the president, who long scorned nation-building abroad while encouraging education here at home, is now clearly choosing the former over the latter?

It's no secret that many in the G.O.P. have long favored the dissolution of AmeriCorps. And though the process won't necessarily be speedy, Republicans in the House are well on their way to making the program a thing of the past. And what happens then? Who or what steps into the chasm created by the White House's failure to act? No one knows. But what is certain is that a generation that was beginning to engage with government, with citizenship and service, will be abandoned, and will be given good reason to shrug back into an easy and familiar, "Well, what did you expect?" sort of cynicism. In fact, the best and most idealistic members of this generation are the ones who will feel most betrayed. Preventing this is within Washington's power — and $100 million is, relatively speaking, a paltry amount to pay for keeping alive the volunteer spirit of the youth of this country.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Cato Loves the Clenis

Cats sleeping with dogs and whatnot.

The Bush administration's newly released budget projections reveal an anticipated budget deficit of $450 billion for the current fiscal year, up another $151 billion since February. Supporters and critics of the administration are tripping over themselves to blame the deficit on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy. But the fact is we have mounting deficits because George W. Bush is the most gratuitous big spender to occupy the White House since Jimmy Carter. One could say that he has become the "Mother of All Big Spenders."

The new estimates show that, under Bush, total outlays will have risen $408 billion in just three years to $2.272 trillion: an enormous increase in federal spending of 22 percent. Administration officials privately admit that spending is too high. Yet they argue that deficits are appropriate in times of war and recession.


But the real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent.


But perhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton. After all, in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.

Panzers Forward Steaming

I am not making this up.

There was an after-dinner salute to the group's outgoing chairman, Scott G. Stewart, and someone thought it would be fun to pass around a "College Republican Hymnal" of some of Stewart's favorite decades-old songs that had been sung by the Party of the Right, a Yale group that's part of the school's debating society.

"I think they're hilarious," Stewart, now with the Leadership Institute, said yesterday, noting how dated and over-the-top they are.

So the delegates stood to sing the hoary favorite "Stomping Out the Reds," which is sung to the tune of "Bringing in the Sheaves."

The chorus goes: "Stomping out the Reds, stomping out the Reds/ We'll advance rejoicing, stomping out the Reds!"

The first verse is: "Meet the Left in action, put them all in traction/ Get great satisfaction, bashing in their heads!"

The last verse begins: "Bayonets bright gleaming, panzers forward steaming . . . "

Panzers? Nazi tanks?

Ah, those exuberant Yalies.

Worst Government Ever

Says Nobel Prize winning economist George Akerlof.

Akerlof won, in part, for explaining why the used car market is filled with "lemons," demonstrating the problem of adverse selection in certain markets.

Army of One

From Symbolman and Take Back the Media.

Marriage is about raising children

So sayeth the thrice married childless Limbaugh.

Sometimes I wonder if their brains function at all.

Climbing the Charts

Joe Conason's book is climbing that Amazon chart...

...hey, Oliver got *his* copy...

Tales of American Health Insurance

South Knox Bubba shares his personal experiences with the American health insurance industry.

Poll: Who has this happen to them a lot? I swear, everytime me or the Mrs. goes to the doctor, and pay our required copayment assuming that's the end of it, we get a bill either from the doctor or the insurance company. Of course, after wasting many minutes of our lives trying to find out what the problem is, we inevitably get an "oops, we just goofed" answer.

It happens too often.

Berke Favored to Run NYT Washington Bureau

Lord help us all.

When Wingnuts Crumble

Crossfire yesterday:

BEGALA: Just a second. He didn't talk about gays and homosexuality, but he did talk about divorce. And I'm wondering, as a straight American, my folks have not had exactly a very good track record on marriage, OK? Don Imus, the radio host, was pointing that out this morning. Half of all straight marriages end in divorce. Tell me why Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani can get married three times, but a gay person can't get married once?

RIOS: Oh, Paul, you know what?


RIOS: You're talking about -- you're trying to -- you're trying to make the case for gay marriage by pointing out something else that's wrong. I mean, marriage should be a faithful union between a man and woman for a lifetime. And that's a fact. And any time...


BIRCH: ... the moral universe, saying you should be doing better.

RIOS: Elizabeth...


BIRCH: Half of your marriages fail.


RIOS: Elizabeth, that's -- you know what? You're right. And that's a shameful thing. And a lot of the men in here are hooked on pornography. And a lot of the women are hooked on romance novels and fantasizing about other people. The point is...

Look, there is absolutely no argument against civil union or marriage or whatever for gay people other than simple bigotry. Absolutely none.

And, on that note, you can go sign this pledge.

To Kill or Not To Kill

Should we take him out or put him on trial? Unsurprisingly, the Bush administration is floating trial balloons about the former.

Big Lies

The wingnut representative of whatever anti-gay wingnut organization on CNN right now is claiming that gay men have an average lifespan that is 25 years shorter. The only place this statistic comes from is from the stupidest study in the world.

Perle the Cash Grabber

Apparently Richard Perle required foreign media outlets to pay him for interviews, despite restrictions on DPB board members using their public offices for private gain.

Larry Flynt for Governor

Sorry, Georgy, I have to withdraw my prior endorsement. Go Larry!

Buzzflash Interviews Joe Conason


And, you can buy his new book here.

Where's my darn review copy...

Unemployment Drops, Jobs Decline, Labor Force Declines

The good news it that the unemployment rate has dropped to 6.2%. The bad news is that this is entirely driven by people dropping out of the labor force. Last month Elaine Chao said that the rising unemployment number was a good thing because it was driven by people, drawn to renewed economic opportunities, re-entering the labor force. I'm sure this month she'll interpret people dropping out of the labor force as a good thing as well.

Here's the AP:

WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate declined to 6.2 percent in July as nearly half a million discouraged Americans stopped looking for a job. Payrolls were cut for the sixth month in a row, suggesting that businesses remain cautious and want to keep work forces leans despite budding signs of an economic revival.

The Labor Department's report Friday pained a picture of a job market that remains stubbornly sluggish and continues to frustrate people looking for work.

The economy lost 44,000 jobs in July. While that's an improvement from the 72,000 shed in June, economists were hoping that positions would actually be added. They were forecasting payrolls to go up by around 10,000.

Although the jobless rate dipped to a two-month low of 6.2 percent from a nine-year high of 6.4 percent in June, much of decline's July represented the exodus of 470,000 discouraged people who abandoned job searches because they believed no jobs were available.

And, here's the BLS data.

Letters, They Get Letters

To the New York Times:

the Editor:

Re "President Denies He Oversold Case for War With Iraq" (front page, July 31):

President Bush let slip some crucial information at his news conference when he said, referring to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, "In order to placate the critics and cynics about intentions of the United States, we need to produce evidence."

If the Iraqi weapons exist, we need to find them not to placate critics but to prevent them from being used for devastating attacks on the United States! The weapons that the administration described before the war could be used by whoever now possesses them to kill us by the thousands or millions.

The fact that President Bush did not express concern about this prospect, but instead described the stakes as a matter of political credibility, indicates that he privately assumes that the weapons do not exist.
Bedford, Mass., July 31, 2003

To the Editor:

President Bush maintains that we will find the weapons of mass destruction (front page, July 31).

Well, let's hope that they do not exist, because the question that raises the hairs on the back of my neck is, Who has access to them until we find them?
Old Greenwich, Conn., July 31, 2003

This is just something which has been so obvious from the beginning. They've never displayed the slightest bit of concern about finding whatever it is because it could be dangerous, but only because they need to justify their invasion.


And, for those who are now claiming that the Bush administration was always talkings about "weapons programs" and not "weapons," don't you remember the final double dog ultimatums we kept giving Saddam? You know, we kept telling him that he had to "disarm" or we were going to invade? Disarm WHAT?

Ashcroft Denied

Talk Left informs us that the defendants involved in the federal death penalty case in Puerto Rico were acquitted.